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The Devil In The White City
Erik Larson
The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and its amazing 'White City' was one of the wonders of the world. This is the incredible story of its realization, and of the two men whose fates it linked: one was an...

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Comment from [Reddit user] with 11 upvotes on /r/books/

Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson

So captivating. This is one of those books that you finish in two or three sittings, and where the entire world around you completely fades away, as you voraciously lap up every detail of the world and atmosphere that's so vividly brought to life by the author. Strangely enough, I first heard of this book as being an inspiration for the video game “Bioshock Infinite,” and how it was inspired by the book's theme of an underlying, rotting darkness, lurking and skulking beneath the shining mask of a brand new era of unending progress and wonderment.

It begins with a framing story about two dual sister ships that were launched: the Olympus and Titanic. Both grand and majestic, but one of them being ultimately doomed. This duality is represented throughout the book, not only in the obvious contrast of the 1893 World’s Fair and the serial killer H.H. Holmes, but also in how the book was structured. It jumps back and forth between the monumental undertaking of the fair, and the horrible acts committed by Holmes, but it feels so seamless. It never feels jarring when it skips to one perspective or another, and it perpetually causes you to want to learn more about either side the whole time you're reading it. I heartily recommend it as one of the books that you can get utterly lost in for a few days or more.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 4 upvotes on /r/books/

I'll be gone in the dark is pretty interesting, I'll admit I got mostly through it before I had to return it to the library, but I don't think I'll get it again to finish it.

While not about serial killers, you might enjoy Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, by David Grann, or The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, by Erik Larson, which is about a serial killer.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/


The Final Solution: A Story of Detection, by Michael Chabon
Tight and short, with some unexpected twists in the writing. However, it was probably not the smartest idea of mine to check out this author by first reading one of his love letters to another author.

A Man and His Ship: America's Greatest Naval Architect and His Quest to Build the S.S. United States, by Steven Ujifusa
Awesome read! Took my time with this book, and it accompanied me through some dark personal times of mine. In the end, I was all teared up, which is super-rare for me when reading.


Goodbye to Berlin, by Christopher Isherwood
So far it feels way more modern than it actually is and the characters pop right out of the pages. I'm impressed.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America, by Erik Larson
Was planning to read it for years now, and now I finally started.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 6 upvotes on /r/books/

I just finished The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson. I really like this style of narrative nonfiction and will have to check out other similar books.

About to start Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 5 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished Mr Mercedes by Stephen King, and reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling. Picking up Harry Potter for the first time since I was a kind was great. It was fun revisiting the world and seeing what I remembered and what I forgot. Slowly but surely I’m going to reread the series. As for Mr. Mercedes, I enjoyed it. It was definitely different reading a detective story from King, but I didn’t hate it and thought it had some surprising moments. Brady creeped me out so much and left me thinking about him long after I put the book down. Planning on continuing the trilogy before reading The Outsider.

This week I’m going to finish The Lost City of the Monkey God By Douglas Preston (I’m currently on the last chapter) and continuing reading either The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells or The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson!

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

I just finished It by Stephen King. An amazing read, that's at its core, about going from childhood to adulthood, unafraid and capable of not looking back due to nostalgia for the past. While the main skeleton of the story is the same, the book is about as different from either movie as they can possibly be in terms of events taking place. Check it out if you dare to go through the 1153 pages.

Tonight, I'll begin The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. I'm a bit of a fan of historical nonfiction. You get to learn history in a flavorful way instead of from a dry history book. I'm looking forward to this one tonight, though I don't know much about it beyond it telling the true story of a serial killer that terrorized the World Fair in 1893.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

So this week I finished Bird Box by Josh Malerman!

It's been recommended quite a lot on here and I loved it. The split sort of narrative was a very good choice and helped to build the tension excellently, although if I'm being pick I might have wanted some more answers by the end.

I'm just about to start The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson. The author contrasting the lofty, altruistic motives of the 1893 Columbian Exposition architects and planners with the absolutely evil motives of a truly ghastly serial killer H H Holmes made for a truly unique reading experience.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

I finished Calypso, by David Sedaris, and just started The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson. I'm on a nonfiction kick, I guess.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

I finished The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Not something I'd usually read but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This week I'm getting started on Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I've started this book a few times and always lose my place. This time I've got to stick with it. I'm loving the atmosphere so far.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

I finished Washington Goes to War, by David Brinkley. This one is about Washington D.C. during World War II. It's a surprisingly funny book, since so many people didn't really know what they were supposed to be doing, and there's a lot of detail about high society and bureaucracy during that time in that place. It could be such a farce that I'm convinced this book needs to be turned into a Broadway musical comedy.

I read The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson. I picked this up in no small part because of this subreddit. Phenomenal the whole way through.

I read The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs. You may notice a theme of cities in these books; I'm in a seminar on urbanism this semester and as such I've been tailoring my reading to that subject. I felt that, this book being such a core text of the field, a working knowledge of the text would be beneficial to me. I found Jacobs' arguments about parks and child safety to be the most interesting parts of the book.

I read Cities of Empire, by Tristram Hunt. This one's about the development of cities in the British Empire, with a section on a different city corresponding with a different period in the history of the Empire. I thought the best parts were on New Delhi and Liverpool. Recommended to history nerds like myself.

I'm now reading The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans, by Lawrence N. Powell. A history of the titular city up to the early 19th century. I'm in the 1760s at the moment, having just learned about the 1768 revolt. Enjoying it so far.